I find that many men and women in Kenya still take domestic violence very casually despite the statistics that are thrown at them. While women still make a huge percentage of the victims, now men are also on the receiving side. The disturbing thing about it is that neighbors are slow to react, and there seems to be no knowledge of what to do when neighbors are fighting. In Kenya there is a culture of keeping out of other’s relationships. The police will not investigate cases, which involve relationships as these are considered ‘private affairs’. This is why a couple will fight the whole night and hurt each other and the next morning just walk around like all is well. Sadly, most men and women still view domestic violence as justified in some cases – as such they see it as a disciplinary action that should not be interfered with.
Unfortunately, there is no law in Kenya against domestic violence. There is a bill that has been drafted but the law is not enough. There are male MPs who are still opposed to the bill against domestic violence. Their reasoning is still that domestic violence is a sign of love (especially when the woman is the victim). This is a sign that we still have a long way to go before we can resolve issues of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a cycle that leads to damaged lives and death is some cases. There are no enough avenues that victims can run to and seek help, other factors like culture and lack of financial independence contribute further to people being afraid of coming out and leaving these unhealthy relationships.
As an advocate and secondary victim and survivor of domestic abuse, I seek to raise awareness on the fact that domestic abuse has become a serious issue and is leading to more deaths.
My vison is to raise awareness of this virus, create avenues and resources where victims can be able to run to when they are ready to leave their abusers have shelters for women and children where they can be safe, create clinics where abusers can get help because we need to not only help the victims but also help their abusers that that is the only way we can break the cycle for good.